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The Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards makes the exceptional visible. The 2020 awards and now over. Stay tuned for information about 2021.


  • More than 850 institutions have participated in the Innovation in Insurance Awards since 2016. The awards are free to enter.
  • Find a step-by-step walkthrough of the submissions process with seven tips to help you create a winning submission.
  • Learn more about the nomination and voting process, which is conducted by the Awards Committee, the worldwide Awards Jury and online voters.


The Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards is an annual, global competition that rewards the best new ideas and practices transforming the industry for the benefit of both insurers and their customers. Open to insurance, bancassurance and insurtech organizations, the awards serve as a catalyst for innovation, helping to connect a worldwide network of leaders and disruptors. A rigorous, independent judging process determines the winners by their peers to ensure the awards’ credibility.

As the awards grow year after year, it becomes ever more important to craft a compelling submission that clearly shows the originality, impact and universality of an organization’s innovation. This guide will walk through the submission process and judging criteria while offering tips to build a persuasive case for your innovative initiative.

What you’ll find in this guide:

The history and makeup of the Innovation in Insurance Awards

The three phases of the awards: submission, judging/voting and the awards ceremonies

Previous winners

Why participate in the Innovation in Insurance Awards?

What kinds of innovations can be submitted?

Step-by-step guidance on the online submission process

Innovation of the Month Awards opportunity

Seven tips for a winning submission

Details about the nomination and award process

About the Innovation in Insurance Awards

Accenture and Efma, a global non-profit organization that facilitates networking between decision-makers in banking and insurance, jointly launched the Innovation in Insurance Awards in 2016.

“We’re creating a place where insurance companies and banks’ insurance subsidiaries will be able to showcase their innovations and get to grips with the latest ideas, technologies and strategies adopted by their peers,” explained Efma CEO Vincent Bastid in 2016.

The initial awards received 224 submissions from 148 institutions in 37 countries. The most recent awards, in 2020, received nearly 360 submissions from 240 institutions in 45 countries. The 2020 awards took place virtually.

Most award categories are reserved for insurance and bancassurance organizations. In 2018, an insurtech category was introduced for technology companies whose products are aimed specifically at the insurance industry. Insurtechs may also jointly enter other categories with their insurance clients. The awards are open to all insurance organizations regardless of their Efma membership.

The three phases of the awards

  1. Idea collection: Insurers, bancassurance and insurtech organizations are encouraged to identify and submit their most innovative initiatives. Submissions are free.
  2. Judging and voting: An Awards Committee shortlists the submissions through a rigorous and independent process. Following this, a jury of industry professionals deliberate and present the final nominees to online voters.
  3. Awards ceremony: The top three innovators in each category receive the awards during a dedicated event.

Ceremony participation is free but restricted to the winners and other invited financial institutions. Some awards categories require live pitches from nominees—a favorite among attendees. Watch videos from past Innovation in Insurance Awards events:

Previous winners

Visit the Winner’s Collection to learn about past winners.

Read Efma’s press release about 2016’s winners.

Read our press release about 2017’s winners.

Read our press release about 2018’s winners.

Read our press release about 2019’s winners.

Read our press release about 2020’s winners.

Why participate in the Innovation in Insurance Awards?

Innovation in Insurance Awards have participants from all over the world—54 countries in 2019—and winners have hailed from as far away as Japan, Switzerland, the USA, Poland, Finland and South Africa. The awards are an opportunity to position your company as trailblazer in the insurance industry, gain global recognition, promote your innovation while seeing what your peers are doing and network with leaders in the industry.

Tsukasa Makino, Efma’s regional manager for Efma in Japan and an ex-awards participant, shares why innovation is becoming ever more critical for insurers and how the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards are fostering industry innovation.

Erik Sandquist shares how the awards help make innovation in North America visible.

What kinds of innovations can be submitted?

To be eligible for the Innovation in Insurance Awards, initiatives must have been launched after January two years prior and be at least in the pilot stage.

Awards categories evolve every year to match the changing insurance industry. In 2020, there were seven categories:

  1. Connected Insurance and Ecosystems: Innovative practices that give rise to new business models and scalable end-to-end value propositions that capitalize on the power of partnerships, platforms and the Internet of Things. Innovations, diversification opportunities and ecosystems may reach beyond the traditional boundaries of insurance, and may be submitted by incumbents, specialized players and other new competitors.
  2. Core Insurance Transformation: Innovative products or services that provide significant enhancement of the underwriting, claims or other processes through improved automation, predictive/behavioral models, artificial intelligence or other advances, with the goal of supporting price optimization, prevent fraud, increase efficiency, deepen personalization or enhance agility.
  3. Customer Experience: Innovations that significantly enhance the way companies engage with customers. These new approaches create value through, for example, seamless and personalized experiences across physical and/or digital channels, new customer management models, artificial intelligence-driven advice, and innovative management of customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  4. Product and Service Innovation: Innovations that significantly enhance, extend or replace the traditional offer by creating new profit pools through serving new customer segments or existing segments in new ways and by entering or creating new markets typically beyond the reach of insurance players.
  5. Workforce Transformation: Innovations that successfully bring together people, culture, leadership, organization and technology, enabling the insurer to realize the full potential of the human and machine workplace.
  6. Insurtech: The creation and/or application of innovative technology that substantially enhances the customer experience and/or develops new sources of value for insurers. This category is reserved for insurance startups or spin-offs and technology firms targeting the insurance industry. Innovations must be stage-one funded, have a market release proposition and/or have completed a successful proof of concept in the market.
  7. Global Innovator: The most innovative insurer. The winner is the organization whose corporate vision is fully committed to continuous innovation and transformation, to the development and leadership of a broad ecosystem of partners extending beyond insurance and to the exploitation of emerging technologies that improve the experience of its customers and the performance of its business. Winners must submit entries to more than one category.

How to enter the Innovation in Insurance Awards

Organizations can enter the Innovation in Insurance Awards at no cost. All Efma financial institution members have full access to review all submissions, so please only include information in your submission that you are willing to disclose to the public.

The following will walk you through the submission form. First, you will need to create a free account. You can save your submission in draft at any time. Completing the form should take approximately 30 minutes if you have your content and attachments ready.

Get started by visiting the Submit an Innovation webpage.

  1. Select your category (review category descriptions above)
  2. Give your innovation a unique and descriptive name. There is no word limit, but we recommend sticking to 10 words or less. Winning submission titles have included: Self Service Portal for PZU Customers, HedgeSPA – Sophisticated Predictive Analytics for Hedge Funds and Institutions, SIRI-Bution – Democratize Your Data and On-Demand Insurance for the On-Demand Economy.
  3. Provide your innovation launch date.
  4. Provide a brief summary of your innovation in less than 250 words. Your summary should cover the concept and objectives, reasons for innovating, competitive landscape, source/s of inspiration, departments involved and key results so far.
  5. For your innovation at a glance, narrow your description to one sentence. You can use a version of this formula: [Name of innovation] helps [customer segment] achieve [goal or result] by [how it works].
  6. The reason behind: Here, explain the key innovation drivers, such as a customer problem, an unsatisfied need or an opportunity in the market. This is the “why” for your project.
  7. In the next four boxes, you are asked to describe four areas of your innovation:
    1. Uniqueness: Define what makes the project unique, including innovative aspects, characteristics and differentiating factors. Specify whether your innovation represents an incremental or disruptive innovation and describe how it fits within your organization’s current positioning and business model.
    2. Implementation: Describe the key elements characterizing the development process: time-to-market, process steps or timeline, challenges faced, current status or progress and the next steps or further developments expected.
    3. Project organization: Describe the organizational structure supporting the initiative, including the number of FTEs, the capabilities involved, the structures and functional areas the project tapped into, as well as any supporting partners and vendors.
    4. Results: Describe any major results obtained or expected. Include both qualitative (e.g. customer satisfaction, other awards) and quantitative (e.g. reduced costs, increased revenue, customer acquisition) success metrics.
  8. Describe any solutions, vendors and fintechs involved in the project.
  9. Gather your investment information to provide a general range for the different areas involved in your initiative, including marketing and communications, IT and operations, etc. Segments are: $ 0-250K; $ 250-500K; $ 500K-1MLN; and >$ 1MLN.
  10. Finally, you’ll enter your company information (name, address, website URL, etc.) and main contact details. We will need your information for any administrative or content matters related to your submission.
  11. Complete your submission with a high-resolution cover image, which enables your innovation to be spotlighted on the Innovation in Insurance Awards website. Additionally, you can attach more images, documents or videos to build out your submission. In 2019, AXA Winterthur attached images of its Lightguard Connect smart bicycle light in use as well as a link to the product’s webpage. Generali Welion attached a Youtube video for its SkinVision cancer detection app.

When you’re ready, submit your innovation for an opportunity to be nominated and potentially win an Innovation in Insurance Award.

Innovation of the Month Awards opportunity

Early entrants also may be selected for an Innovation of the Month Award, which fast-tracks organizations to the global awards shortlist.

Learn more about previous Innovation of the Month Award winners:

Three insurance innovations to watch right now

What do a global insurer and an insurtech startup have in common?

Seven tips for a winning submission

The Awards Committee combs through hundreds of submissions each year and evaluates each innovation on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the following three criteria:

  1. Originality: the uniqueness of the idea in the marketplace and its potential as a game-changer.
  2. Impact: the innovation’s capacity to generate a superior, long-term competitive edge and a significant return on investment.
  3. Universality: the innovation’s adaptability across different markets and countries.

Based on an analysis of winning submissions and best practices, here are seven tips to help you build a compelling case for your innovation.

  1. Clearly present the problem you needed to solve; show how you used technology or an innovative idea to solve that problem; and highlight the results with both qualitative and quantitative success metrics.
  2. Remember to directly address each judging criterion: originality, impact and universality. Mapping your key points to each criterion prior to writing your submission entries is a useful exercise.
  3. Proofread and edit your submission. While correct spelling and grammar are not criteria, a polished final submission will impress your peers, who have the final say regarding who wins.
  4. Visuals, such as images, videos or screenshots of an application, can make your submission more engaging. Gather your best supporting materials to add as attachments.
  5. Don’t be afraid to talk about your setbacks or challenges and how you overcame them through ideation and implementation. These stories spark inspiration.
  6. Keep your audience in mind: How can your innovation change the industry as a whole and impact your audience members? Your customers? Voters want to know why your innovation matters.
  7. Be specific, especially in your results. Use statistics and numbers to show growth or change.

How are the winners are chosen?

Following the submission deadline, the Awards Committee reviews all the submissions and selects nine innovations from each category to become nominees. In the case of the Global Innovator category, the committee shortlists up to 15 applications.

Both Efma members and non-members vote for nominees online. Voters decide the top three entries for each category (except the Global Innovator). These votes make up 50 percent of the final scores (40 percent from Efma members and 10 percent from non-members) with the remaining 50 percent coming from Awards Jury members, comprised of senior insurance executives from around the world. The jury also selects the winning Global Innovators from the 15 shortlisted nominees. Meet current and previous Innovation in Insurance Awards judges.

The top six Product and Service Innovation category nominees will present their innovations to a live audience at the awards ceremony, where attendees will cast their votes in real-time.

Start preparing your Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards today. Download our infographic to use as a guide for building a winning submission.

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